Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is Your Tree Planted Near the Water?

Last night I finished Jennifer Beckham’s book Get Over Yourself! 7 Principles to Get Over Your Past and on with Your Purpose.  I strongly suggest that you pick a copy up for yourself – you will hear me reference many times in the future – I marked it up like crazy which is an indication of a good book.

In her chapter regarding getting a new attitude Beckham makes you aware of the difference between studying and reading of the bible then she suggests for you to do a “word study.” A “word study” is where you take a topic you are struggling with for instance anger and look it up in the bible using a concordance.

I have kept it no secret that I have had extreme anxiety during this pregnancy – not only fear regarding the pregnancy, but regarding everything from the house catching on fire to my husband leaving me – yes my anxiety is sometime stupid with no reason to actual have this fear. Beth Moore says it is passed through hereditary and I agree – my Meme used to worry tons, my mom worries and I got the worry-wort gene – I hope to not pass it along to Shelby, but she already shows signs of fear over things you shouldn’t worry about.

Yesterday afternoon I hit bible gateway and did a topical search for Anxiety which lead me to six verses in the bible. Then last night I laid out three bibles: my Concordia Study Bible, my Starting Point Study Bible and my Message Bible. I wanted to read the NIV version and then see how it was translated in the Message and then see what additional information Start Point had for me. It was two hours well spent.

Here are the scriptures I was directed to:

Psalm 37:5-6
NIV: 5 Commit your way to the LORD;  trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

The Message: 5-6 Open up before God, keep nothing back; he'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Sounds simple, right? Yet, we do not do it as much as we should – at least I don’t. In my Starting Point bible there was a story about how much we trust airplane pilots. We trust they will get us to our final destination maneuvering through turbulence and weather – we put a lot of confidence in this human. How much more should we put our confidence in God? He wants us to quit worrying about our future and “rest” in him. We can trust him because his Word persuades us that his plans for us are good – “plans to prosper you and not harm you…give you hope and future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Psalm 55:22
NIV: 22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let
   the righteous fall.


The Message: Pile your troubles on God's shoulders-he'll carry your load, he'll help you out.  He'll never let good people topple into ruin.

From the Thrive section in Starting Point I pulled this quote “he knew God’s sustaining power wouldn’t fail.”

Proverbs 16:3
NIV: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

The Message: Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.

It was in Elizabeth George’s book A Woman after God’s Own Heart where I read that she and her husband pray on everything, every decision that they must make before making it – do you? Do you commit every action to the Lord?

Jeremiah 17:7
NIV: But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

The Message: But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God.

The Message version felt like it pointed right at me “the woman who sticks with God.” Oh how many times I have taken turns in my life or have felt such panic because I did not stick with God.

Jeremiah 17:8
NIV: He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes its leaves are always green. It has not worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

The Message: They’re like tree replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers – never worrying through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.

Don’t you just love that visual – a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every season.

The last piece of scripture is Matthew 6:26-34. It’s a little long to type out here for you, but if you need to read it all visit bible gateway – here. 
My favorite verses are
 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In her book Jennifer Beckham states, God always has a plan – even if that plan is nothing more that to teach you His way. The key that I have learned is you need to follow his plan and stay on his path, not a path you come  up with on your own – as I have so many times.

After spending time in the word I turned to YouTube and watched a bible study done by Beth Moore called Pressing Past Our Fears. I strongly suggest you take the time to watch it, it can be found here.

In this study she says, Fear is an emotional outburst of unbelief. As you can see from the scriptures above that is so true. She ends the session with Joshua 1:5 – I want to give you both versions because I love them both.

NIV: No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses so I will be with you; I will not leave you nor for sake you.

And in the Message it says: I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.
Doesn’t that just give you peace? He won’t give up on me – He won’t leave me. I am talking about God here, not JAG, but I believe the same for JAG – no matter how crazy I get, he will not leave me. Like when I sent him a text yesterday saying “I want to be just like Beth Moore when I grow up. You better get ready. I am going to get loud and pace the floor. I’m going to have good hair and be smart enough to help people at the same time!” Want to know his response? “Sounds good to me baby.” Why do I doubt God when he has given me such a gift – I was blessed when this man walked into my life.

If you have made it through one of the longest blogs I have published – what do you think? Do you have a word in mind that you need to spend time on? My next one is forgiveness – not the forgiveness of others, but of myself. I also plan to share this with along with what I have learned from Jennifer Beckham’s book – so make sure to check back in this week…maybe tomorrow.

Today I start reading A Mom After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George – you know how much I love her. I was so so so excited to find out she is releasing a new book in September of this year, Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart. I hate to say it, but I am going to have to buy it new – I can’t wait for a used copy to show up at my Half Priced Books.







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